Joseph Mallord William Turner

Penmaenmawr: View along the Coast towards Llanfairfechan


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 79 × 130 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest XLVI 90 a

Catalogue entry

The inscription ‘do’ (for ‘ditto’) suggests that this slight sketch, made with the page turned horizontally, is to be read in conjunction with that on folio 91 recto opposite (D02131) as a pair of views from the top of Penmaenmawr. The famous headland on the north Welsh coast between Conwy and Llanfairfechan could be approached either along the coast road, which partly followed the sea shore, or over the moors from the Sychnant Pass; see folios 55 recto and 57 verso–58 recto (D02079, D02084–D02085).
These two drawings seem to record views from the summit, on this page looking west towards the mountains of Snowdonia, and opposite looking east towards the Great Orme, which is visible in the centre distance. Eric Shanes proposes a ‘very slight’ connection1 with Turner’s Picturesque Views in England and Wales watercolour subject of about 1832, Penmaen Mawr, Caernarvonshire (British Museum, London),2 engraved by J.T. Willmore in 1834 (Tate impressions: T04601, T06107), which however shows the wave-lashed road round the base of the headland; it contains no elements in common with either of these two sketches.

Andrew Wilton
May 2013

Shanes 1979, p.155.
Andrew Wilton, J.M.W. Turner: His Life and Work, Fribourg 1979, p.400 no.852, reproduced.

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